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My flight to Montreal gave me the opportunity to have a nice nap to cure the headache that was making me dizzy on my way to the airport; Max also dozed off in the seat next to mine. I felt bad having him pack his suitcase on such short notice. He was understanding as usual.

“Em! How is he?” I hug her as we stand in the hallway.
“He’s alright, nothing broken, just a lot of bruises and pain on his left side from the impact. Thank God! I feel bad making you fly here but I got so scared!”
“Don’t, you’ve always been there for me. Let’s go see him,” I hold her hand going to Trevor’s room.

Poor Trevor’s left arm and leg look horrible, thankfully, it’s only minor injuries. He also expressed his gratitude for me flying home. They both knew Ryan had to work otherwise he would be here too. The doctor prescribed painkillers and sent Trevor home. Max drove us there in our rental car. Trevor being exhausted and a little out of it from his meds decided to lay down.

Emma meets me in the kitchen after making sure her boyfriend is comfortable. “Oh, you didn’t have to do that,” her brown eyes tear up seeing me doing the dishes she had left behind when she rushed to the hospital. “Emma! Don’t cry. I know you went through a lot but you need to relax. It’s not good for the baby,” I tell her. “It’s a boy! We just found out and I was going to call you and Maddy but then…” she wipes her tears. “A boy! Did you think of a name yet?” I momentarily remember I’ve always thought having a boy would be great. “Nothing official. Do you want to help me choose a theme for his nursery? I mean… if you’re okay with it?” She asks. “Of course! Between Maddy’s wedding and Grace’s house, I’m becoming an expert,” I laugh. Emma pulls up her laptop for us to start browsing websites for baby furniture and decor. Though I was apprehensive about things related to their baby because of our struggles, I’m enjoying helping my friend right now.

Trevor joins us a few hours later, limping. The doctor said it would take a few days for him to feel better and for the bruises to go away. “I’m not going to lie, I love having you here Ella! Picking colors and patterns aren’t my idea of fun I’m glad you’re the one dealing with it,” he laughs, oblivious to Emma’s glare. “I think you’re lucky to be in pain because your comment would have made her punch you,” I laugh with him before sticking my tongue out at my friend. She doesn’t stay mad for long when she sees him struggle to reach for a plate, she can’t help getting it for him.

Later on, I go back to our apartment with Max. Having a friend around makes being in the apartment without Ryan more bearable. Sometimes I feel like quitting my job and being able to follow him made me more dependent. Or maybe the rollercoaster of emotions rushing through me daily is causing me to want to hold onto him. I love Ryan and I appreciate his support but I want to find myself again. My raging episodes as well as my sobbing phases have to get under control. I keep on learning techniques to guide others through therapy while I’m unable to help myself.

With our laptops in front of us, Max teaches me how to use photoshop to retouch my pictures. “Have you ever thought of doing photography full time?” I ask him. “I did but being a bodyguard brings in more money and a sort of stability especially now that I’m working for you,” he smirks. His eyes are looking tired after a while and I suggest we go to bed. Jet lag usually doesn’t affect me that much but for some reason, I’m also exhausted.

Texting my husband, I get in bed. He replies right away asking for an update on Trevor. The luxury of us girls having all our significant others getting along so well is a blessing. I’m sure Ryan would love to be playing some video game with Trev right now.

The next day
My hands are shaking sitting in the waiting room of my therapist’s office. The receptionist calls my name telling me Diane is ready to see me. “Hi Ella, how have you been?” Her voice always sounds as though she’s softly singing the words. “The million-dollar question,” I think to myself. “Hi, I’m okay,” I couldn’t think of a better adjective to describe my mood at this specific moment. Of course, she sees through my equivocal answer and probes me on what’s going on. The feeling of failure has been spoiling my mood lately. I was getting strong but ever since I started the treatment it’s as though I can’t even deal with breaking a glass by accident. From anger to sadness back to rage to then being anxious, I sense every single emotion a hundred times deeper, except lust. I love Ryan with all my heart but it’s as if my brain shuts down about anything physical. I’ve even tried to look at videos to see if I could get turned on without success. “My doctor says it’s one of the weird side effects and I cannot take any medications to help. I guess I have to find a way to be even stronger, right?” I sigh looking at the floor. “Did you want to keep on going? You said Ryan did but what about you?” she asks. “Another million-dollar question, she’s on a roll!” Taking a deep breath, I look at her again. “I think so, I want to give him a child because I know he’s always wanted one,” I say. “Do you want children?” she asks without skipping a beat. “At the risk of sounding dramatic, I spent a lot of years thinking I was unlovable therefore I never even thought having children would be a possibility. So, I guess, I like the idea of having one with Ryan, but,” I look at my hands on my lap. When I look up, I see her waiting for me to keep going. “But I hate thinking my child would come from a time when I was feeling like shit. I hate my body for being so difficult! Why can’t we make love and create a miracle with both of us enjoying ourselves? Why do I have to take a pill that’s driving me fucking crazy? What if I don’t feel like myself ever again? Yes, I know you’re going to tell me our relationship is more than that but our sex life has been one of the strongest connections I’ve ever shared with someone. What we have is what makes us, us! Not being able to experience the sentiment is slowly destroying me. The pieces of my heart that were glued back together by him are threatening to break again,” I’m screaming by the end of my rant. I’ve never been on any medicine for my mental health and I couldn’t be right now even if I wanted to, Diane suggests more sessions and she wants me to write daily for her to keep up with my emotions.

Knowing I’m going to Emma’s house, I try to shake it off for their sakes. I’m here to help them, not to bother them with my misery especially since Ryan and I decided to keep things to ourselves for now. I know she recognizes my fake smile but she doesn’t ask questions.

A few hours later, I hate myself for getting exasperated with her when she takes too long to pick a color for a rug. My inside voices are shouting begging me to go hide somewhere but I fight them back as best as I can, forcing myself to keep the smile on my face, swallow back the bad words I didn’t know I could ever think of in the presence of my sweet friend.

Max is the one who ends up dealing with the aftermath of my frustration when I drag him to the gym where I work out until he has to hold my arm for me to walk to the car and to get home. “Do you think I’m going insane?” I ask in a whiny voice as he hands me a cup of chocolate milk. “Insane? No. But I worry about you, I wish I knew what was going on,” he runs a hand on the back of his neck. I realize I can’t tell him and I shouldn’t have asked the question. “I’m just being overly dramatic, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me,” I fake a smile.

Cramps woke me up in the middle of the night sending me to the bathroom where I noticed some bleeding between my legs. Max came to the hospital with me, I never shared details of what was happening; simply that I needed to see a doctor. Though the Canadian healthcare system is free, it tends to be very slow but not tonight, I was in and out in under an hour and able to go back to bed.
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